Happy New Year! I hope everyone is off to a great start and ready to write a new chapter in your life story this year. I know I’m ready!
2018 was a good year. We accomplished much, but by the time December rolled around, I was ready for a new challenge. With minimalism as the basis for all that we do, we’ve decided to focus our efforts this year on two fronts: our relationship with each other and our relationship with money. To address the former, we came up with a fun idea that we’re calling 48 Really Great Dates. The goal is simple; we want to make our relationship with each other our number one priority by blocking out time each week for just the two of us – no family, no phones, no chores, no errands, no distractions – and do something that is both fun and memorable. The rules are:
- We must take turns planning each week’s date. Dates can be a surprise or an activity planned together; however, the person whose turn it is must take the lead on making arrangements for the date.
- There is no set budget, but all funds must come from our entertainment account.
- Dates can take place any time of the day, any day of the week (Monday – Sunday).
- There’s no maximum time limit but each date must be at least 2 hours long.
- Dates can involve a meal but do not have to.
- We must take at least one photo while on the date.
- There are 4 “skip” weeks built into the calendar year. These skips can be used at any time to cover illness, vacation, or family obligation.
- Dates can be repeated, but not in the same month.
We’ll be posting our date ideas and photos on our Projects Page, in case you want to borrow a few for yourself. And, as always, we’d love to hear your suggestions for great date ideas.
The topic of money will require a bit of a different mindset, but I think exploring our relationship with the Benjamins (and the Jacksons, Lincolns, and Washingtons too) can also be fun and memorable. Though we may explore a few options for living with less money, our biggest focus will be on ensuring that our use of money aligns with our values. To do that, we’ll take a look at:
- Our current relationship with money
- Our actual financial fears vs. society’s fears
- Saving, investing, or stuffing cash into a mattress – which might be the better option for us
- Spending in ways that support (or don’t support) our values
- Charitable giving – how to align cash with the right causes
Throughout the year, we’ll also chat about real-life scenarios that make us consider (or reconsider) our ideas about money. A recent request from my uncle will be one of those.
Along with our posts about fun and finance, we’ll continue to keep you apprised of our efforts toward simplicity, minimalism, zero food waste, and sustainability, as these are the goals – above all else – that guide our lives each day.
What are your goals for 2019?